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Monday, January 31, 2011

Asian Alice in Wonderland

The Mysterium Theater has a production of Alice in Wonderland and the actress, Lin Horinouchi, who played Alice is Asian. 

I thought she did a wonderful job, but an Asian person I know thought Alice should be Blond.


Chinese Immersion in Atlanta?

I got a call this morning asking me if I knew of any Chinese immersion programs in a public school in Atlanta.

I did not remember any off the top of my head, but I suggested contact the local chapter of Families with Children from China and a Confucius Institute at Georgia State

I do have a Chinese School Finder that helps for finiding Chinese Schools.  Lots of tips and links for finding Chinese Schools.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being a Mom in America

Being a Mom in America is the Chinese title for Amy Chau's book, Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mother.


I want Mandarin Flash Cards!

I have had a couple of customers call me up and tell me they want Mandarin Chinese XYZ.  The last one was Mandarin Flash Cards.

And then I ask Simplified Chinese Books or Traditional Chinese Books.  The person usually does not know.  Then I ask them where there teacher is from.  If Taiwan, Traditional.  If China, Simplified. 

Usually...  Some teachers from Taiwan are teaching Simplified.  I call customers when I see a mixed order of Simplified and Traditional Chinese.  Often the customer mixed the order by mistake.

And then I tell them they probably want Simplified if they are working with a teacher, and I explain the difference and the advantages of Simplified and Traditional Chinese Characters (longer blog post).  Basically a person from China usually thinks Simplified is the best, and a person from Taiwan thinks Traditional is the best.  Supposedly Simpfilied is easier to learn since less strokes, and traditional is easier to learn since more systematic.  Me, I think both are equally hard to learn :-)  The best comment I heard was when the Chinese writing was "Simplified", they did not simplify it enough.

What I find a bit annoying is a Chinese teacher who tells me that Taiwan does not use Mandarin Chinese. The Chinese Teacher knows better.... Mandarin Chinese is the official language in Taiwan.  My wife has been complimented on her Mandarin Chinese by people from China, and she is from Taiwan.

There is Taiwanese accent, just as there is a Shanghainese Accent, Beijing Accent, as well as what China calls Standard Chinese that is used in newscasts and such that is close to the Beijing Accent. I find the Shanghainese Accent very pretty and the Beijing Accent to be a bit harsher, and the Taiwanese Accent nothing special since I hear it all the time.  The Taiwanese Accent is softer than the Beijing Accent.  If you listen to a person speaking Mandarin Chinese you can usually tell where they are from by their accent.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Contest Alert: The 90-second Newbery Film Festival

Over at Grace Li's blog, I've read that there's a video contest for students and teachers. It's the 90-second Newbery Film Festival Contest. 

Any Newbery book can serve as your 90-second movie inspiration. Here are the rules according to the creator of the contest, James Kennedy:
1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s three minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)

2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book. Here’s a list of all the winners.

3. Just to be clear: we’re not looking for book trailers. We’re looking for full-on dramatizations, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of a book in an ridiculously short amount of time.

4. Your video must condense the plot of the book in 90 seconds or less. Again, exceptions will be made for something really ingeniously bonkers, but it has to be related to a Newbery winning book.

5. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and send the link* at kennedyjames [at] gmail [dot] com. Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY” and please tell me your name, age, where you’re from, and whatever other comments you’d like to include, including whether you’d like me to link to your personal site. You can give an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns.

6. Sending the link to me grants me (James Kennedy) the right to post it on my blog and to other websites where I sometimes post content (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to share at public readings, school visits—and hopefully the “90-Second Newbery” Film Festival at the New York Public Library in the Fall of 2011.

7. Deadline is September 15, 2011.

For more information please go to Grace Li's blog
For inspiration on doing your video entry, use this Newbery Book:
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, English, Hard Cover, 288 pages
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, English, Hard Cover, 288 pages
List Price: $16.99
Our Price: $16.99
Sale Price: $11.89
You save $5.10!

  • Minli goes on a magical journey to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask how she can change her family's fortune.
  • Award-winning and bestseller!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why I love my strict Chinese mom

Why I love my strict Chinese mom - NY Post OpEd by the daughter of Amy Chua.

In an interview Amy Chau mentioned she had recommended to her daughter, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, 18,  not to write the oped, but she did anyway.

I felt so much in common with her as another parent of a mixed teenager :-)

Other Posts:

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com

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China promises action on software piracy, protectionism

China promises action on software piracy, protectionism - Mercury News

All part of President Hu Jintao's visit to the US.  Positive moves, I hope actions follow the announcements.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PR & Tiger Mom

Obviously Amy Chua's book,   Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother hit a sore spot.  5000 comments on WSJ article Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com, which is a record.

Now Amy Chua is toning it down as fast as possible.  The article was taken out of context and took the most controversial parts of the book.  And that she had no control over the final edits.  Amy Chua - Retreat of the 'Tiger Mother' - NYTimes.com

What I noticed was on the publisher's site (now toned down) was where a lot of the material originally came from.  My guess is the publist/public relations person for the book looked for what was the best way to create as much buzz as possible about the book.

What was missed by the author, and the publicist, is there are a lot of hurt and angry people who have been brought up in strict parenting so called Chinese method.  The result was some 'Tiger Mother' Amy Chua Gets Death Threats Over Parenting Essay.  At Cal State Fullerton due to suicides the tallest buildings have barriers now. Asian American Women per this blog, Mangan's: Another Side to Chinese Moms, have highest rates of suicide of any group. 

Combined with some people who are worried about too much homework.  Are today's kids getting too much homework? : The Mommy Files

Bottom line is parenting is like a mine field with all sorts of different opinions on what works and what does not work.  My thoughts are here - http://blog.childbook.com/2011/01/why-chinese-mothers-are-superior-wsjcom.html


Monday, January 17, 2011

Token white guy in Chinese cinema

Token white guy' in Chinese cinema - LA Times

What I found really interesting is the roles he assumes.

And his http://croquetwithhedgehogs.blogspot.com/


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Postal Service

I use USPS for shipping, so I am very concerned about how they are doing and price increases.

I did not realize that first class mail has gone down 42.2% in the last 10 years.  My guess is most of that is business.  The amount of package shipping (Priority Mail) has gone up.



Crazy Asian Mom

It seems the review in the WSJ on Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom took only the most extreme parts of the book.

Per the author:

"I was very surprised," she says. "The Journal basically strung together the most controversial sections of the book. And I had no idea they'd put that kind of a title on it. But the worst thing was, they didn't even hint that the book is about a journey, and that the person at beginning of the book is different from the person at the end -- that I get my comeuppance and retreat from this very strict Chinese parenting model."

Some more context:

Mother, Superior - SF Gate


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not so superior Chinese Mothers?

Not so superior Chinese Mothers? - Chicago Boyz

The comments are thought provoking.

The argument is basically between focusing on academics and having not pushing kids so hard.

My opinion is you need to have a balance.  You need to push, but you need to be realistic. The challenge when you are in a mixed marriage, which the author of Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com is (look at the picture, and also the threat of taking away Hanukkah as well as Christmas presents).

Another comment I read someplace else was it only took the parent 10 years to figure out he was not a piano prodigy. 

I am lucky that my daughter is a musical prodigy, so the hard work my wife has done has paid off.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com

A good article to read.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com

and a related post - Are U.S. Parents Too Soft?

A summary from the related post:

Ms. Chua says that being a “Chinese mother” doesn’t require being Chinese, but it does require ignoring most of what parenting has come to mean in upper-middle-class Western societies. Where Western parents obsess over a child’s self-esteem and couch criticism in only the most oblique and supportive terms, Chinese parents “assume strength, not fragility,” and thus deploy insults and pressure with abandon.

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World's Women Chess Champion from China

Ms. Hou (whose name is pronounced Ho Ee-fahn) is an astonishing phenomenon: at 16, she is the new women’s world chess champion, the youngest person, male or female, ever to win a world championship. And she reflects the way China — by investing heavily in education and human capital, particularly in young women — is increasingly having an outsize impact on every aspect of the world.

Nicholas D. Kristof: China Rises, and Checkmates - NY Times

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Study Finds Family Connections Give Big Advantage in College Admissions

Study Finds Family Connections Give Big Advantage in College Admissions - NY Times

7X per the study.  Only 2X if you went to Grad School.


Rethinking Advanced Placement

I find it strange that a High School student in an AP class takes a school year, to cover what a college student takes a semester to do.

This sounds like good news.  Basically the AP Test is going to move to concepts, instead of memorization.

Rethinking Advanced Placement - NY Times


China Bars US Businessman from Returning Home

China bars O.C. businessman from returning home, citing contract dispute - LA Times

I am surprised this is being done to a non-ethnic Chinese.  If your ethnic Chinese and get into a business dispute in China, your XXXXXXXXX (edited to keep this a G rated blog).    An ethnic Chinese business person could end up in jail until the disputed amount is paid. 

This happened to somebody I know and the US Embassy has been of no help. 

Related Posts:

Scary - Chinese born American Citizen in China Jailed

Chinese business horror stories

Chinese Kidnapping


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chinese Games For Kids

Here's Chinese games for kids to enjoy during your Chinese New Year program:
Chinese Game Da Fong Chui Chinese Game Eagle Chicken
Chinese Game Da Fong Chui that is similar to Simon Says
It is a type of chasing game where a Hen protects her baby chicks.  Teaches kids to work together.
Chinese Game L:uo Bo Dun Chinese Game Shan Dian Didi
Similar to Simon Says and is a great game that teaches Chinese as well a builds memorization skills
Chinese Game of tag with a few differences.  It is now a ghost, and you can be saved by saying Shan Dian DiDi
Dragon's Tail Choosing Order
Dragon's Tale Chinese Children Game Instructions
Traditional Game for Choosing Order (who goes first) Instructions in China
Games - Knife Hand (Taiwan Game) Chinese Rock Paper Scissors Game
Chinese Game Instructions for a type of tag played in Taiwan called Knife Hand.
Chinese Rock Paper Scissors Game Instructions
Chinese Tag Rubber Band Jumping Game
Tag, but with a twist. The person who is it has their eye's covered.
Rubber Band Rope (similar to Chinese Jump Rope) Game Instructions

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It will be so cute if the kids are wearing Chinese Dresses and Boys' traditional Chinese Pant suits. EliteDresses.com offers affordable yet high quality Traditional Chinese outfits for kids! 


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